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Book details
  • SubGenre:Life Stages / School Age
  • Language:English
  • Pages:47
  • eBook ISBN:9781732666207

Immigrant's Daughter

Life as a Girl With Lithuanian Immigrant Parents in New York in the 1920's

by Anne Marcin

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Experience life as a young girl of Lithuanian immigrant parents in New York in the 1920's. It was a time of silent movies, horses pulling coffins in the street, live poultry markets, vineyards, gaslight and Russian's tending the bee houses next door. Some things are familiar, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, family gatherings, stern nuns in Catholic schools, and the catty comeuppances of young girls. But the differences are striking, two dollars a week for 16 hours work a day, candles on the Christmas tree, death at home from tuberculosis, and the graphic presentation in the local theater of the electrocution of Ruth Snyder. Please enjoy the history and the tender human insights that Anne offers in this book of her memoirs.
Anne's Memories Vignette One – Home Life and Carnival Birth of George. Black girl in white dress. Father's tailor shop. Finishing collars after hours. Speaking Lithuanian. South Ozone Park. Languages and kindness at the local carnival. The wind, the horse and the vegetable cart. Big barrels in the street. The lost boy. Vignette Two - Coffins and Markets The horse-drawn coffin. Live poultry pluck-ing. Words paint pictures. Vision is the soul of our memory. Stash of cash on the laundry line. No hanging personal garments except in Italy. Princess Leia's braids anticipated. Defrocking dissipates without vengefulness. Vignette Three – Grapes and Nuns A sewing machine from a devout Jew. Corrupt milk. Heavy furniture and babies sleeping. Stairs entertain. Multi-ethnic Democrats. Fruit trees, hedges, and hopscotch. Uncle Alfonse. Russian gardens, the grape house, bee hives and forbidden nectar. Hymns at 9am, The Terrifying and Severe Sisters. First Holy Communion but no conversions. Vignette Four – Escape from Russia The Russian vintner returns to Stalin's Soviet Union. His wife in the pig sty and he became working comrades. They miss America's freedom. The vintner's brother helps them escape. The brother is caught and sent to Siberia for execution. Mr. Novak and wife settle in Europe. Vignette Five – Room, Board and Theft Sponsored Lithuanians working their craft. 10 cents for church at the door. Married couples sit separately. News on the church steps and Sunday dinners. Women boarders and the thief. Coins in the skirt. Resting money at the bank earns interest. Psychedelic dreams from Lithuanian medicine. A bag of pecans. Vignette Six – Opportunity Lost and Surgery Tobacco factory, money in the bank and classical novels. English classes. No woman outside after 6 pm. Children's stories, a photographic memory, "The Iliad" and the "Arabian Nights." Going deaf, ether dreams, surgery on the kitchen table. Four white dogs and Lithuanian melodies. A "black" party. Vignette Seven – Parties and Dreams Tessie's 25th birthday party. Aprons again with caps and cigars. Crying girlfriend, stolen apron. Teacher's first party. A criminal's memories. Dreams from then and dreams at bedtime. Vignette Eight – Penmanship and Theatre Time for Public School. Edward the baby brother, alone in the carriage. Betty mentors Anne but Anne is kept back. Anne is "Inna" until grade 3. Betty and the boys not interested in school. Mother's children healthy, 100% attendance but still chicken pox and measles. Words by sight with no phonetics. Father forbids the left hand but advises how to write right. Cursive and Spelling. Live shows at the CrossBay Theatre. Arabs buried in the sand. Workman save Anne from the dirt. No friends buried. Vignette Nine – Gardens, News and Execution Losing Betty's nickel, going it alone, Mother displeased. A clotheslines, hanging and ironing. The old garden fails. Father's big vegetables. Homework, phonetics and funny papers, three daily newspapers. Bonnie and Clyde, Dillinger and Gray and Ruth Snyder. Murder by bludgeoning and the speedy electrocution of iron-bound Ruth. The steel cap with one eye in the movie house. Snow sledding in Athol, Massachusetts. Christmas tree candles catch fire. Auto sleigh on the winding road and belly flopping. Black cherries in milk bottles. Vignette Ten – Deaths and Hard Cake At the library, reading Alice, Peter, and the Fox and the Bear. Beautiful Miss Martin dies in blue. Lithuanian Democrats lose to Herbert Hoover. Stock market crash. Coney Island. Charlie thrills me. Scary the King and Scary the Queen. Fritz is born. Communion. Aunt Tessie dies on her birthday and is buried next to Mother's first child. The dark house and the little black girl again. A widow with a bank account for Alfonse. Steppe envies beautiful young Anne. Macy's Santa and the flying animals. Mephistopheles for Macy's. The Red Devil jumps the fence. A cake too hard.
About the author
Anne Kulis Marcin has lived 98 years on this earth. She was born on April 7, 1920 in the South Ozone Park area of Queens, New York. Anne was the second child of Frances Waliukiewicz and George Kulis both Lithuanian emigrants who, in 1910, escaped the horrors of the Bolshevik Revolution. She attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help Grammar School and John Adams High School. She lived through the Great Depression and World War II during which she met her husband Ben Marcin. Anne now lives in San Juan Islands in Washington State where she still writes prolifically.

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